Sunday, April 6, 2014

Late Early Work Mercantile Update

I have to say good riddance to March. It had some ups, some downs and I spent the last week in bed with the flu so I'm hoping April will be a happier month! Gracious Tina, the leader of EWM let me add a late addition to this month's update and here he is. He's a sweet design by Brenda Gervais and I've made him into a 15" x 11" pillow.
Thanks to all who gave suggestions on what to do in Pennsylvania. We enjoyed our time there.  We spent the first night in Philadelphia at the Morris House.
It was conveniently located within walking distance of the historic sites in downtown Philly and the other visitors were very friendly. We had visited Pennsylvania many years ago but I had forgotten how beautiful the countryside is with all the lovely old houses and taverns. The stone houses really made my heart go pitter patter.
I've taken on additional duties at work and will be full time from now on. It's been a lot of years since I've worked full time and I'm trying to remember how to get everything done. If you have any good hints, please let me know!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Need Suggestions

Next week we will be heading to Pennsylvania and I'm so excited! We will spend some time in Philadelphia seeing historic sites but the majority of time we will be attending the National Trumpet Competition in Harrisburg, PA. Dear Trace has clued me in to a great antique mall in nearby Lemoyne, but I appreciate any suggestions you might have of places to visit between Philadelphia and Harrisburg!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More from Illinois

Just a few more photos from the shows last weekend showing the softer side of primitives.
I found some things for the sewing room...
Scissors and herb bundle
Hat pins for the pincushion purchased at the fall shows
More scissors
Shaker berry basket in old paint
Did you remember to spring forward? I'm ready for longer days and working in the garden!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vignettes from Illinois Antique Shows

It's easy to get caught up in the thrill of the hunt and miss the lovely displays vendors carefully create. Even now as I look at these photos I see things I didn't notice at the show.
We also stopped at our favorite home decor store, Winterberry in Tuscola and the following photo is from there.  One of the iron doves came home with me and will be nesting on my potting bench.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Homesteaders on the Prairie, Country Spirit and Rural Life Shows

Last weekend Leslie texted me to ask if I wanted to go to the antique shows in Arthur. After about two seconds of consideration I enthusiastically said "yes" and early Friday off we went.
The crowds were slightly smaller than at the fall shows; the threat of bad weather probably kept many at home. But as usual the dealers outdid themselves with selection and staging and I took lots of photos and will share them with you over the next few days.
I'll try to organize the photos by theme. I'm sure you can guess today's theme!
Outside the yard is filling up with snow so it's good to remember that spring and warmer temperatures are just around the corner!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Easy Peanut Butter Bars

We had a reception yesterday at the church for a long time, dedicated volunteer who is retiring. Paul is known for his hard work, servant's heart and love of cookies. 
My co-worker Mary made a wonderful scrapbook with photos and blank pages that the attendees signed and we gave Paul a certificate for a dozen cookies a month for a year from the church's Sonflower Bakery, which is run by special needs adults who make the best cookies and scones! I baked several kinds of cookies for the reception, including this one, which was a first place winner in the KC Star's annual cookie contest in 2011:

Peanut Butter Lovers Cookie Bars


1 C. AP flour
2 sticks butter, room temperature--DIVIDED
2 C. chopped nuts--DIVIDED
1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 C powdered sugar
6 oz chocolate chips, milk or dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate)
12 oz. Reese's peanut butter chips (I think that the bag size has now shrunk to 10oz and that's what 
    I used)
1/2 of a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk


Heat oven to 350 degrees

Cut in flour and 1 stick of butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Ad 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts.  Pat crust mixture into a greased 9x13 inch pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until light brown around edges.  Remove from oven.

In a large box, mix 1 stick melted butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.  Spread this mixture over the crust evenly.

Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped nuts evenly over the peanut butter mixture.  Sprinkle bag of peanut butter chips evenly over the nuts.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over the peanut butter chips.  Spread condensed milk over the chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and slightly caramelized around edges.  Cool completed  before cutting.  Refrigerate for best results (our temperatures were in the 20's yesterday and I set the pan outside for about three hours).  After cooling, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. 
I was called for jury duty again a couple of weeks ago. I was so dreading this because we were warned in the summons that the trial was anticipated to last two weeks. I arrived on the appointed day to find 100 potential jurors had been called for 15 slots. Luckily, by the end of the day my name hadn't been called and I'm off the hook for another year. The trial involved rape, sodomy and murder and I'm sure the photos and testimony were hard to bear. I'm especially sorry that up to three alternates had to sit through the entire trial and then be sent home without deliberating. I saw on the news Friday the guy was convicted.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Week that Was

Warning---do not read if you are sick and tired of s-n-o-w. Our week began with several days of dire warnings about the huge snowstorm headed our way. Before the first flakes began falling I believe all the local stores were out of milk and bread.We did end up with a foot of snow on Tuesday, but most of the roads were plowed and passable by Wednesday and life went on. Kiska was very curious about the snow and every time we opened the door to the deck she had to check it out. She made it to the grill and then couldn't figure out how to get back in without touching that darned cold snow.
Every February our Women's Ministry hosts a conference at the church. They did a fabulous job transforming the narthex into a fun, welcoming atmosphere.

I loved the prayer wall--baskets of silver Sharpies were available for anyone who wanted to add their prayer.
We had the opportunity to provide donations to a local transitional living facility or funds towards buying sewing machines or solar powered laptop computers for our partners in Malawi.
Jenny Simmons and her band performed several songs and she shared inspirational stories and insights. Sorry, I took only one photo and it's pretty blurry, but if you ever have the chance to hear her speak or sing you are in for an amazing evening. She can bring it!